Dealing with the Stares: My Muslim Experiance

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” ~William Arthur Ward

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve realized that in my mostly white christian city, that I am representing a huge subset of people. And that my actions are being watched more than before I started wearing the Hijab. As much as people annoy/ are rude to me, I can’t tell them where to go and how to get there. I have to remember that I may be the only “Muslim”woman they have ever seen in their lives, and I need¬†to make a good impression.

I’ve been stared and talked about by random strangers within earshot, and it is hard. Really hard, to deal with. But my goal is to educate people and to give the population at large, something to think about. And I don’t want them to think about how they met a combative Muslim woman, and how the experiance justifies their thinking. The term is “kill them with kindness”, and as much as it hurts and angers me to have people whispering and pointing like I am an animal in a zoo that being gawked at, I have to curb my tongue. It isn’t just about me anymore, and it would be irresponsible for me to not be kind and almost ignorant of the stir that I cause when I go out.

For someone who is passionate and is (sometimes) quick to anger, it has been a humbling and at times very difficult experiance. From my perspective I don’t understand why there is any problem or need for the staring and whispers. But I have begun to understand that predjudice does happen even in a ” multicultural” nation like Canada. And I have been learning to accept that I can’t force people to accept me, all I can do is show compassion and hope that by setting a good example; little by little those prejudices will disappear.

— Bridgett

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